Top picks for the season

Some of Le Di-Vin’s new additions

RICHER flavours will be the order of the day this festive season, according to the sommelier at Le Di-Vin Wine Bar in Edinburgh.

Luke Richardson, whose career includes stints at The Dorchester in London, The Three Chimneys on Skye and Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh, reckons a mix of quality whites and reds will be in demand.

“At this time of year, as the nights draw in and winter is promising to show around the corner, I always feel that richer whites and deeper flavoured reds are the order of the day,” said Richardson, whose first recommendation is “a slightly unusual” white Cotes du Roussillon called Les Terrasses by Régis Boucabeille.

“This wine is made from Grenache Blanc (50%) and Maccabeu (50%),” he said.

“The wine has aromas of greengage, a touch of white fruit and a hint of white pepper on the nose – and this greengage characteristic carries through on the palate, finishing with hints of apple, cinnamon and pastry with just the slightest hint of tannin – gained from a long maceration of the Grenache grapes and whole bunch fermentation.”

Another white wine Richardson is a fan of is the côtes-du-Rhône Belleruche, from winemaker Michel Chapoutier.

The wine shows “white flowers, apricot and hints of fennel on the nose, whilst on the palate it is complex and fresh, with a nice roundness to the texture”.

For reds, the go-to for Richardson is the Grotta Rossa Cuvee, made from old vine Carignan. A 2016 vintage, the wine is “medium to full-bodied, with aromas of red fruits and plums, and a hint of earthy liquorice”, according to Richardson.

His final recommendation is “a firm staff favourite”: Cahors – La Chapelle Du Clos, Clos Triguedina, 2014, from “well respected producer Jean-Luc Baldes”.

“Predominantly Malbec, with a smattering of Merlot and Tannat, this is a full-bodied wine with classic plum and chocolate aromas and flavours, and long, fine tannins on the finish,” he said.